The Gwinnett Braves began the ninth inning trailing the Syracuse Chiefs by a run at NBT Bank Stadium in Memorial Day action, but after a leadoff out the G-Braves (22-30) exploded for five runs against Chiefs ( 22-28) pitching and then kept Syracuse off the board in the bottom of the inning for the come-from-behind victory, 9-5. The win extends the Gwinnett winning streak to five.
The big blow for Gwinnett came off the bat of Ernesto Mejia. The first baseman came off the bench with Brandon Boggs and Joe Leonard on base and the score tied at five and hammered a pitch from Syracuse reliever Erik Davis (L, 1-2) to left center to put the G-Braves up 8-5. Matt Pagnozzi then connected for a solo shot that pushed the Gwinnett advantage to 9-5 and closed out the scoring for the night.
Omar Poveda (ND) made his start of the season with Gwinnett and had a tough outing after recording consecutive Quality Starts. He pitched 6.0 innings, allowed seven hits, five runs (four earned), and struck out seven in the no-decision start. Jordan Walden made his first rehab outing with Gwinnett and worked a scoreless seventh with one strikeout. Wirfin Obispo (W, 1-2) earned the win by tossing scoreless eighth inning, and then Pat Egan closed out the game with a scoreless, hitless ninth inning.
Boggs (3-for-4) pushed his hitting streak to five games, while Jose Constanza and Todd Cunningham each had two hits. Mejia’s pinch-hit homer was his 13th home run of the season.
Syracuse starter Ryan Tatusko allowed four earned runs on five hits in 7.0 innings of work. He walked two and struck out five. Davis picked up the loss, working only 0.1 innings and giving up four of the five runs in the ninth inning.
Mike Costanzo (2-4) and Zach Walters, who homered and drove in four of the Chiefs five runs, led the Syracuse offense in the loss.
Game two of the series will be on Tuesday night. Left-hander Daniel Rodriguez (2-3, 6.14) will pitch for Gwinnet, Syracuse right-hander Matt Torra (0-0, 6.75) will take the mound for the Chiefs. Tony Schiavone will have the call on WDUN 550 AM/102.9 FM).
The G-Braves return to Coolray Field Tuesday, June 4, 6:05 PM against the Rochester Red Wings.
The Gwinnett Braves are the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and play in the South Division of the International League, one of two Triple-A leagues. Coolray Field is home to the G-Braves.
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